Category Archives: Undergraduate Research

Catalytic Hydrodeoxygenation and Hydrodenitrogenation of Algal Biocrude into hydrocarbon fuels

Description: Algal biocrude is obtained from hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) and pyrolysis processes contains large amounts of nitrogen and oxygen heteroatoms that make it unsutiable for further use. Algal biocrude needs to be catalytically upgraded via hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) and hydrodenitrogenation (HDN) into liquid transportation fuels. The current project prepares the student gain insight into role of…
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Design and Build a Sci-fi Propane Pop Gun for AICHE demos

Description: Design, write an Experimental Safety Plan, build, and operate a device similar to that seen in this video up to the 1:15 time. Completion Objectives: Design a propane pop gun. Prepare the ESP. Build and test the pop gun. Perform with the pop gun at an AICHE outreach event. Faculty Advisor: Rockstraw Required Competencies…
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Salt migration rates in adobe brick exposed to boundary conditions of varying moisture and salinity

Description: Student will design an experimental protocol to measure salt mobility under various boundary conditions established at the block interfaces, then apply test methods developed by Mesilla Valley Preservation, Inc. and presented at EarthUSA to quantify the location of salts at various time intervals. Student will have access to some of the most knowledgable adobe…
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Mathematical model of salt migration and coving phenomena in an adobe wall

Description: Establish the conservation equations and boundary conditions needed to solve for the transient movement of salts from the soil into an adobe wall upwards from grade.  This project will build on work performed by Dr. Rockstraw with others in Mesilla Valley Preservation, Inc.  Completion Objectives: The complete set of conservation equations and boundary conditions relevant to…
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Hydrothermal Treatment is an Innovative way of Nutrient Recovery and Waste Minimization

Description: Recovery of the nutrients (primarily, nitrogen and phosphorous) in solid waste is important for better land nutrient management practices and remediation of nutrient pollution of surrounding waterways, and is a path forward to generating renewable nutrients. Hydrothermal treatment (HT) employs the ‘subcritical water as a medium (combination of heat and water at high temperature…
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Nanostructured Materials for Lithium-Ion Batteries

Description: Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) represent one of the most important and advanced technologies among rechargeable batteries due to their high energy density with high cell voltage suitable for applications in portable electronic devices and electric vehicles. Performance of LIBs strongly depends not only on the electrode materials but also on their microscopic structure. The advantages…
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Developing Correlations between Spectroscopic Results and Computed Net Atomic Charges

Description: In this project, quantum chemistry calculations will be performed to compute the net atomic charges of various transition metal solids. Using linear (or higher order polynomial) regression, the computed net atomic charges will be correlated to published core electron binding energies that were measure with x-ray photoelectron spectroscropy (XPS). (These correlations will be useful…
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